Courtney Vandersloot will not re-sign with Sky

Vandersloot spent 12 seasons with the Sky, averaging 10.2 points and 6.6 rebounds. In that time she became the league’s third overall assist leader, behind Sue Bird and Ticha Penicheiro with 2,387 career assists.

SHARE Courtney Vandersloot will not re-sign with Sky
Courtney Vandersloot was drafted by the Sky in 2011 with the third overall pick and has played her entire career in Chicago.

Courtney Vandersloot announced on Instagram that she will not re-sign with the Sky.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The Sky is falling.

Within three days the franchise has lost hometown legend Candace Parker, and now their longest-tenured player, Courtney Vandersloot has announced she will not be re-signing.

“Although I never planned for this day to come, I have decided that it is time for me to pursue a new beginning,” Vandersloot said in a lengthy Instagram post thanking Chicago.

After ruling out the Sky, the 4-time All-Star is deciding between the Minnesota Lynx, Seattle Storm and New York Liberty, according to previous reports that included the Sky among her four landing spots. Now all eyes will be on Vandersloot’s wife, Allie Quigley, who according to a source was waiting to make any kind of decision about her future until Vandersloot did.

Vandersloot, drafted by the Sky with the third overall pick in 2011, spent 12 seasons in Chicago, averaging 10.2 points and 6.6 rebounds. In that time she became the league’s third overall assist leader, behind Sue Bird and Ticha Penicheiro, with 2,387 career assists. Without question, Vandersloot’s greatest accomplishment in a Sky uniform was bringing the franchise its first WNBA championship in 2021.

After the departures of multiple franchise players — including Sylvia Fowles in 2015 and Elena Delle Donne in 2017 — Vandersloot remained loyal to the team that drafted her. Ahead of the 2021 season, she helped recruit the Sky’s biggest free agent signing, Parker.

“To all my teammates, coaches and staff along the way, I would not be the player I am today without the support, care and love I have received,” Vandersloot said. “Thank you for making my time in Chicago special.”

The move marks a significant turning point in the history of the franchise. Without Parker and Vandersloot, the Sky’s rebuild era is official.

As it stands, the Sky have five players under contract entering the 2023 season, Copper, Dana Evans, Julie Allemand, Li Yueru and Ruthy Hebard.

Evans has shown flashes of greatness in the WNBA but has yet to be given a consistent shot at proving her ability as a starter in this league. She’s going into the 2023 season on an unprotected rookie scale contract. Her impact will depend largely on whether or not Wade looks to fill the hole left by Vandersloot with a veteran on the free-agent market or in the draft. One thing is clear: Evans has proven she is ready for an expanded role.

How Wade replaces Vandersloot also depends largely on whether or not Allemand returns for the 2023 WNBA season. The Sky acquired her in a three-team trade that sent Diamond DeShields to the Phoenix Mercury in 2022. Her contract runs through the 2023 season before she becomes a reserved player in 2024.

Vandersloot’s impact on the Chicago sports landscape is invaluable. Without her, there is no 2021 WNBA Championship, no parade down Michigan Avenue.

She remained tethered to the organization because of loyalty, but after helping lead the Sky to their first title her loyalty is to herself. During the 2022 WNBA semifinals, she stated the importance of putting herself in an environments that makes her uncomfortable. That’s how she believes she will continue to develop her game.

“I don’t want my legacy to be that I plateaued at 30, 31, 32,” Vandersloot told the Sun-Times in August.

Vandersloot’s legacy was cemented in Chicago. Her next chapter is not yet written.

The Latest
With legal troubles behind him, the Chicago native will play the Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash Festival on Sunday — his first performance in the area in over 10 years.
Give the mayor credit. The $30,000 he spent on his hair and makeup didn’t come from taxpayers. He used campaign funds. That’s something.
Chip Caray, the Cardinals’ TV voice, will call the Cards-Cubs game Sunday with Cubs analyst Jim Deshaies and Marquee Sports Network field reporter Elise Menaker. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m.
New voice Rick Ball isn’t replacing Pat Foley. He’s replacing the guy whom fans didn’t widely accept. Ball gives the Hawks a do-over — though they should’ve had nothing to redo with Foley and Eddie Olczyk in the booth.
The music fest is slated to take place the same weekend the Red Stars are scheduled to play a nationally televised match.